Tampa Bay, Fla. – Tampa International Airport today celebrated the grand opening of two news convenience stores, Ybor City News and Stellar Bay, as well as popular Chinese food chain Panda Express.
Ybor City News, operated by the concessionaire group Paradies Lagardère, is located in TPA’s Blue Baggage Claim area, offering a convenient stop for refreshments, gifts, toiletries and other retail items for arriving passengers. The store offers an assortment of local brands, including sandwiches and snacks from Alessi Bakery.
“We are thrilled and very appreciative of the opportunity to continue expanding our relationship with Tampa International Airport,” said Gregg Paradies, president and CEO at Paradies Lagardère. “The Ybor City News store, like the CNBC and Tampa Bay Times stores, is resonating with travelers visiting the airport, and we look forward to introducing more exciting new concepts to the airport, including Dylan’s Candy Bar, SPANX, PGA TOUR, Hyde Park News, and WFLA News Channel 8.”
Stellar Bay, operated by Stellar Partners, is located in Airside C, which serves Southwest and Frontier airlines. It is the second location of the store – the other at Airside A – and brings with it a successful partnership with an innovative local charity and culinary training center, Inside the Box.
“Stellar has been a part of the TPA concessions family for almost 30 years,” said Susan Stackhouse, CEO and President Stellar Partners. “We are delighted and honored to be participating in the Concession Redevelopment Program. Stellar Bay is our news/convenience concept created exclusively for TPA. The store, serving Airside C’s Southwest passengers, features a wide-range of high quality merchandise including delicious, fresh grab-and-go sandwiches and salads provided by Inside the Box. Stellar is honored to be partnering with Inside the Box, one of the successful social enterprise programs originated by Tampa’s Metropolitan Ministries.”
Proceeds from Inside the Box sales benefit the charity, which helps transition homeless men and women back into the workforce among other homeless assistance programs.
“Through our partnership with Susan Stackhouse and her team at Stellar, we have had the opportunity to share great food and our mission at Metropolitan Ministries with those in our community and the millions of people who visit us from other parts of the country and the world,” said Tim Marks, Metropolitan Ministries CEO and President. “With the additional presence in Airside A, our message of hope and self-sufficiency will have an even greater reach to local and global travelers. It has been a tremendous honor for us.”
Panda Express, operated by Delaware North, is located at Airside E, which serves Delta, Air Canada, WestJet and Swift Air passengers. The restaurant was founded in 1983 and and now has close to 2,000 locations throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, Guatemala, Canada, Mexico, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and Japan.
“Panda Express is honored to partner with Delaware North to bring the brand to Tampa International Airport and is excited to serve travelers the same quality, delicious flavorful variety they experience in our restaurants,” said Naris Urairat, License Operations Coach for Panda Express.
Ybor City News, Stellar Bay and Panda Express are part of TPA’s concessions redevelopment program which adds 69 new shops, restaurants and services to the growing airport. The program is expected to be completed and fully operational in 2018.
The concessions redevelopment options include a wider variety of choices than ever before, including more local brands. Roughly 40 percent of the food and beverages options are local, featuring such staples as Columbia, Cigar City, Four Green Fields, Buddy Brew and the Café by Mise en Place. Participation in the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) also increased from three companies to 15, bringing more woman- and minority-owned business to TPA.